What can I do to improve my immunity levels during these stressful times?

There are lots of great supplements that help with strengthening our immune system. You can stick to a good multivitamin but if you want a little bit of an extra boost then:

1. Take vitamin C. It’s one of the biggest immune system boosters of all.

2. Vitamin B6 is vital in supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system.

3. Resveratrol is a great antioxidant and improves the body’s immune response to infections. However, if you’re on any anti-coagulants or blood thinners, you should skip this one as it slows down blood clotting. People with hormone-sensitive conditions too should not take resveratrol because it has phytoestrogens. Those having regular medicines should check with their doctor for any contraindications.

4. Milk thistle helps to reduce inflammation and lower the allergic reaction. It naturally lowers sugars, so if you’re on diabetes medicines, consult your doctor before you take this. Pregnant women should not take it.

5. Elderberry extract is also a great supplement packed with vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties.

Is there something like survival hormones? Can you throw some light on that?

Hormonal health is an interplay of so many systems together to ensure the release of right hormones at the right time. We can categorise hormones into two types, basic survival hormones and thriving hormones. As in life, we’d first get our necessities in place: food, clothing, shelter, and then think about luxury: a bigger house, a fancy car, investments etc. Similarly, till your body doesn't feel like it’s survival is guaranteed, it won’t be able to thrive.

So, we need to take care of the major hormones first, like balancing your insulin, leptin, cortisol, thyroid etc., then our body is able to allocate energy and nutrients to other hormones, that take care of better hair, skin, fertility etc.

Four basic things you can do to keep your survival hormones in check:

1. Keep your gut health in check because your leptin hormone is produced there.

2. Keep a long gap between meals, four hours at least.

3. Stay in rest and relax mode. Because of this, your body is more efficient, digesting everything, absorbing nutrients, giving you fuel to stay happy and motivated.

4. Don’t skimp on calories. Eating less is the most torturous thing you can do to your body.